Conducting nursing research in low- and middle-income countries: experiences, challenges and solutions
evidence and practice    

Conducting nursing research in low- and middle-income countries: experiences, challenges and solutions

Binu Koirala Research associate, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, Baltimore, Maryland, US
Chiranjivi Amgai Research assistant, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, US
Patricia Davidson Professor and dean, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, Baltimore, Maryland, US

Background Conducting nursing research in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) balances challenges and opportunities. Understanding the shared experiences of researchers who have completed studies in diverse cultural contexts using various methodologies is important, to advance global nursing research and to build health research capacity and sustainability strategies.

Aim To provide a reflexive account using a case-study methodology of transactions and processes conducted during a study in a LMIC.

Discussion Lessons learned from the study include the importance of preplanning, being flexible and creative, engaging local collaborators early in planning, establishing good rapport and respectful relationships with gatekeepers and collaborators, having a backup plan, appreciating cultural differences, and sharing findings.

Conclusion Conducting research in LMICs is complex, especially negotiating access and obtaining ethical approval. Understanding the issues will benefit future research and prepare nurse researchers who take on the challenges and rewards of conducting international research in LMICs.

Implications for practice This paper provides a roadmap to help novice researchers conduct research in LMICs.

Nurse Researcher. doi: 10.7748/nr.2020.e1661

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated software

Correspondence

bkoiral1@jhu.edu

Conflict of interest

None declared

Koirala B, Amgai C, Davidson P (2020) Conducting nursing research in low- and middle-income countries: experiences, challenges and solutions. Nurse Researcher. doi: 10.7748/nr.2020.e1661

Acknowledgement

The study was supported by the Sigma Theta Tau Nu Beta 2018 Nursing Research Award, Southern Nursing Research Society 2018 Dissertation Award, 2018 NLN Foundation for Nursing Education Scholarship Award, the Dr Scholl Foundation and the Dean’s Travel Fund

Published online: 02 January 2020